Late-game drama in Detroit as Tigers take opener


Late-game drama in Detroit as Tigers take opener

From Comcast SportsNetDETROIT (AP) -- Al Alburquerque reached out and snagged a sharp grounder to the mound -- then planted a little kiss on the ball before tossing it to first.The relieved reliever gave his Detroit teammates a reason to laugh in ninth inning of a tight game. Moments later, the Tigers were celebrating.Don Kelly scored the tying run on a wild pitch in the eighth, then hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth that lifted the Tigers over the Oakland Athletics 5-4 Sunday for a 2-0 lead in their AL playoff series.Detroit overcame three A's leads and seesawed to victory. It was 1-all before a wild final three innings that included a key error by Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp, two game-tying wild pitches and several momentum changes.Alburquerque kept it tied in the ninth when he got Yoenis Cespedes to hit a comebacker with men on first and third and two outs. He gave the ball a quick smooch before throwing underhand to first."I just did it," he said. "It was the emotion of the game. I wasn't trying to be a hot dog."Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick wasn't thrilled."We didn't appreciate that. I thought it was immature and not very professional," Reddick said. "You don't do that on the field. Save it for the dugout. That's all I'm going to say."Detroit will go for a sweep of the division series matchup in Game 3 on Tuesday at Oakland.Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera doubled twice for the Tigers, hit a fly ball that Crisp dropped for two runs and later singled in the ninth.It was the sixth straight postseason loss for the A's, all to Detroit. The Tigers swept Oakland in the 2006 AL championship series, winning the series on Magglio Ordonez's homer in Game 4 -- which was Detroit's last sudden-death postseason win before Sunday.Omar Infante and Cabrera hit back-to-back singles off Grant Balfour with one out in the ninth. With runners on first and third, Prince Fielder was intentionally walked, bringing up Kelly, who had stayed in the game as the designated hitter after pinch-running the previous inning."Was looking for a fastball and I got it," Kelly said. "It's a great feeling, to be able to go out there in that situation and do that."Kelly's fly to right was plenty deep enough to score Infante without a play at the plate. It was another big playoff moment for Kelly, who hit a home run last year when the Tigers beat the New York Yankees in the decisive fifth game of the division series.A favorite of manager Jim Leyland, Kelly hit .186 during the regular season but made the postseason roster as a pinch-running option who can also play any position in the field."It takes everybody to contribute and we got contributions from everybody," Leyland said.Alburquerque missed most of the season after offseason surgery on his throwing elbow. He came on to face Cespedes with the Tigers in a jam, and that one out was enough to earn him the win.And the right-hander entertained his teammates in the process with a bit of, um, comic relief."We were cracking up in the dugout," Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer said. "We were like, Did he really just kiss the ball?' ... Alburquerque does some crazy things on the mound."It was tied at 4 after both teams made their share of mistakes in the seventh and eighth. Cliff Pennington gave the A's the lead with an RBI single in the seventh, but Crisp dropped Cabrera's two-out flyball in the bottom half, allowing two runs to score.Oakland tied it in the eighth on a wild pitch by Joaquin Benoit, and Reddick followed with a solo homer to give the A's a 4-3 lead. Then it was Ryan Cook's turn to throw a tying wild pitch, allowing Kelly to score.Pennington nearly came through again for Oakland in the ninth, but his deep drive down the left-field line was just foul."We just need to win a game," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "If you start thinking about three games ahead, you lose your focus on Tuesday's game."On a drizzly day at Comerica Park, the Tigers and A's were sloppy with the game on the line.With runners on first and second and two out in the seventh, Cabrera lifted a fly to center. Crisp, charging hard, tried to make a basket catch but bobbled the ball. He nearly recovered to make a falling grab, but the ball popped out of his glove and the Tigers took a 3-2 lead."I saw it come off the heel of my glove, and I tried to grab again," Crisp said. "I even went for it barehanded, but I couldn't get it."Cespedes led off the eighth with a single and stole second and third. With one out and the infield in, Benoit threw a wild pitch to allow the tying run. The worst was still to come for the Detroit reliever, who allowed Reddick's homer to right that put Oakland ahead 4-3.Reddick had struck out in all six at-bats in the series before that.Oakland again gave up the lead immediately. The A's have taken the lead four times in this series, but on each occasion they failed to hold it through the bottom half of the inning.Doug Fister allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings for Detroit, striking out eight. Rookie Tommy Milone was impressive for the A's, allowing a run and five hits in six innings. He struck out six.Fister gave the A's trouble early with his slow, sweeping breaking ball, but Oakland hit four singles in the third. Crisp's slow roller to third turned into an infield hit when Cabrera threw wide to first. Stephen Drew struck out looking -- and had words for plate umpire Mark Wegner -- but Cespedes followed with a run-scoring single.Oakland nearly scored again on a single to right by Brandon Moss, but rookie Avisail Garcia threw Crisp out at home.The A's showed frustration with the plate umpire during Game 1, and that spilled over to Sunday. Reddick struck out looking for the third out of the third and threw his bat away immediately. Wegner took off his mask and stared at the Oakland hitter as he headed back toward the dugout, but the situation didn't escalate.Cabrera hit a one-out double in the bottom of the third -- to the same spot in left-center as his double in the first. He went to third on a single by Fielder and scored on a dribbler by Delmon Young that was too slow to be a double play.Milone retired 10 in a row, starting with Young's RBI groundout.

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After quiet day in Detroit, Redskins Pierre Garçon says 'we always try to go deep'

After quiet day in Detroit, Redskins Pierre Garçon says 'we always try to go deep'

DETROIT - Looking at quarterback Kirk Cousins' stat line from Sunday's game against the Lions, and the Redskins passer certainly had a good day. Completing nearly 77 percent of his passes and going over 300 yards, Cousins moved the Washington offense efficiently for much of the game.

Yet, receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon combined for 55 total yards. Jackson, arguably the best vertical threat in the NFL, had a long catch of 12 yards. Yep, 12 yards. 

Cousins' longest pass for the game went to Vernon Davis for 27 yards. In fact, Davis and Jamison Crowder combined for 13 catches and nearly 200 yards, though much of their work was done in underneath spots. With a depleted secondary, the Lions defense largely played deep zone, keeping the best options to move the ball short, and Cousins proved quite capable of completing passes, going 30 of 39 for the game.

But after a tough loss - especially after it seemed the Redskins and Cousins would pull off an extraordinary win - some might question if the 'Skins offense became too reliant on shallow drag and crossing routes and did not look down field enough. 

Garcon, however, refuted that.

"I guess that's just how the game flowed because we always try to go deep but you know things are called but we don't have time or they play a different coverage," Garçon said. "We can't really control it."

The deep ball does not always equal a win for the Redskins either. Cousins' longest pass this season (57 yards) came in a Week 2 loss to Dallas and in a win over Baltimore the QB's longest pass was also 27 yards, same as in Detroit. 

Moving the ball is moving the ball - and Cousins does it well. After a four-game win streak snapped by a dispiriting loss in Detroit, Redskins fans should expect plenty of fans about the long ball. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes or press play below.

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Caps reveal Halloween costumes

Caps reveal Halloween costumes

Halloween is still a week away, but with the Caps preparing for a long road trip, Halloween came early.

The team had a Halloween party Sunday with many of the players dressing up in costume.

Halloween party in D.C. 👻🎃🎃🎃

A photo posted by Alexander Ovechkin (@aleksandrovechkinofficial) on

Alex Ovechkin and his wife, Nastya Shubskaya, appeared to coordinate with Ovechkin dressing up as an inmate and Shubskaya dressing up as a cop. Orlov, who is tagged on the Instagram post as the second person from the right, is dressed up as...the Joker? I think?

Several other players and their wives also got in on the fun.


A photo posted by Gina Carlson (@gnacarlson) on

Mr. and Mrs. Smith 2.0

A photo posted by Lauren Oshie (@loshie17) on

Not to be outdone, Tom Wilson and Andre Burakovsky also joined in on the fun tweeting out their costumes. Fans of the movie "Step Brothers" will enjoy this.

And then there was Zach Sanford....

Rookies in professional sports sometimes have to take on...additional duties. For Sanford, that meant leading the party in a stirring rendition of the song "Sweet Caroline." Thankfully, Ovechkin filmed it.

Caps boys here👍💪

A video posted by Alexander Ovechkin (@aleksandrovechkinofficial) on

Welcome to the NHL, kid.

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